for April, 2014
According to the fact finding report of The Voice Society the tension aroused between Christian Boys and the Muslim men upon a petty issue of listening Music. According to the actual facts it was 10:00 pm in the night on 2nd April when a chingchi rikshaw driver from Murali village got his passangers from the stop. they were all coming to the Francis Colony, they included three Christian Boys named Mehran, Timothius and Waqas Masih. while the Muslim passengers were Mohammad Mushtaq, Mohammad Ashraf and three unknown. Mehran asked the driver to play the Music loud a bit, but Mohammad Mushtaq asked him to turn off the Music as it is a symbol of infidelity and shamelessness and is highly against Islam. He along with started abusing Christianity and started passing derogatory remarks against Christians and their religion.
When the Christian boys named above left the Chingchi Rikshaw at the stop of Francis colony the Muslims followed them and started beating them near the storage house in the colony. they also made some calls to gather their fellows, who came right away from the nearby village. when the Christian boys saw that the matter is going out of Control they went their homes quietly and did not told anybody about the incident. After an hour a mob of Muslims gathered the colony raising the slogans (Aisai churay Kanjar Khana Suntay hain, Inko Maro). But the Christians of the Francis Colony did not responded, and remained silent in their houses. The Next morning the Muslim local leaders named Muhammad Nazar, Muhammad Chand, Mhd. Mushtaq Alias Makhu called the Christian leaders and asked them to come for a dialog so that the matter should be resolved peacefully. A committee comprised of Mushtaq Masih, Gulzar Maish, Qaisar Javed, Chaman Shahzad, Dr. Munir, Mushtaq Chand Gariwala, Ch. Allahditta, Javed Wailder, Dr. Samuel John went for the dialogue at about 11:00 am on 3rd April 13. But they did not found any body at the place decided for compromise. Then they recieved a message to come to the police chowki for dialogues at about 2:00pm.
Imran Khushi: A local resident told the Voice team that i was called by a private number : 0323-7420878 by the Muslim’s local committee member that everything is under control and you should not worry about anything. Later on the colony was attacked by a mob of more than 500 Muslims, they broke the shops of the Christians, looted their money and caused a heavy damage to their belongings. It is also assumed that Sipa- Sahaba is supporting this riot.
The residents of the colony called the local police but nobody responded, later on the local Police was seen escorting the attackers and they also insulted the Christian women who were praying in the Church and also fired live rounds and tear gas on the Christian people those were trying to stop the attacking Mob. Many Christians were injured in the firing and the riot among them two namely Ashar s/o Ashiq Masih and Shamaun s/o Imayat Masih gt seriously injured. Mulvi Mushtaq was leading the Mob. they were all carrying weapons, guns, axes and sticks.
Babar Masih: s/o Asif Masih, told The Voice Society that the police knew that we will be attacked this badly and they were equally involved in the attack. the police itself escorted the Mob and they were helping them against Christians who were only trying to protect their shops and women from the Muslim attackers.
Kausar Bibi w/o Yaqoob Masih and Riffat Bibi w/o Asif Masih told The Voice Society that the local police started beating the Christian men and they have severely beaten their men and boys and they are now in hospital. we have witnessed this all in the Church when the Mob of Attackers entered the Church and our Children tried to stop them from burning and breaking the holy material in the Church.
The Voice team visited the police station after hearing and watching the situation of Christians in the Colony. we met SHO named Saif-Ullah Virk and DSP Waseen Dar. They ensured us about the sufficient security measurements and also told us that they were not informed about any conflicting situation of the Colony by the ASI Razaq Dogar who was the Chowki Incharge of the Colony. they also ensured us that the higher officials will conduct the inquiry about the attitude of the police. SHO Saif also told us that Sipa- Sahaba is also intervening the situation and is trying to attach with the local Muslim parties.
Finding of The Voice Team: The Voice team found that the area’s local police was equally involved in the incident and they arranged every move for the attackers. the reason of the attack was aroused when a bottle container of a shop keeper named Mian Sweet house was broken down in a protest against Badami Bagh, from that time he kept the grudge and threatened the Christian protestors that he will teach them a lesson. and finally his fellows got a chance to fulfill their grudge through music. the attack involved profoundly abusive remarks against Christians, their Holy Book, Women and their religious practices. the Christians in turn blocked the roads, agitated severely and raised slogans against the police and the management. Residents from both communities continued to create a ruckus and could be seen stoning cars and destroying homes and shops in the area, while the police quietly watched the situation escalate for over two hours. Provocative slogans and announcements through loud speakers made the situation worse and the police used aerial firing to control the situation. The Voice team made its best efforts and contacted possible sources to make sure the security of the colony’s residents and also filed an application for the registration of FIR in the CPO’s office.
Aneeqa M. Akhtar
Advocate High Court
Coordinator, The Voice Society